Hardware Technician

Toyota Research Institute

Toyota Research Institute

Other Engineering
Los Altos, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, October 18, 2023
At Toyota Research Institute (TRI), we’re on a mission to improve the quality of human life. We’re developing new tools and capabilities to amplify the human experience. To lead this transformative shift in mobility, we’ve built a world-class team in Robotics, Human-Centered AI, Human Interactive Driving, and Energy & Materials.
The Robotics Team is a lean, fast-moving team that is looking for a Hardware Technician to support day-to-day robot needs, standardize approaches to failures and repairs, and provide novel solutions to system-level problems. The ideal candidate will have broad exposure and familiarity with numerous robotic systems and have a self-interest in adding to their skills.
Your primary responsibility as a robotics hardware technician will be debugging hardware failures on our robots and ultimately bringing them back to a working state. Failures may be reported by other team members or discovered firsthand by you. You will have engineering support to learn TRI’s hardware and software practices, systems, and tool sets, and will have the opportunity to grow in the role to work more independently over time and set your own priorities and workloads. You will also have time to explore other subject areas and topics within robotics to develop and extend skills that you find useful or exciting!


  • Provide deep-level mechanical, electrical, and software support for complex robots and robot support systems.
  • Execute calibration routines and deploy configuration changes to robots.
  • Design, procure, and implement new components on robot systems.
  • Independently balance multiple tasks and refocus work based on priority changes.
  • Own initial build/integration work onto existing and new systems.
  • Search out and expand your own knowledge base by developing new skills and techniques to improve robot performance and address novel failures.
  • Be part of a team that fields systems, performs failure analysis, and iterates on improving performance and capabilities.
  • This role will include some travel needs as well as after hours support - likely no more than 3 travel instances per quarter (continental US) and less than one week of after hours support per quarter.


  • Robot-specific hardware knowledge - actuator and gearbox designs and implementation, communication protocols, joint sensing and control approaches, force sensing and control, camera types, usage, and interaction with perception systems, gripper approaches, etc.
  • Experience in numerous fabrication techniques such as DFM, 3D printing, laser cutting/engraving, manual and CNC machining, PCB and PCBA fabrication, cleaning, and inspection, and multi-conductor cable speccing and assembly.
  • Working understanding of electrical circuits and robot harnessing.
  • Familiarity with reading circuit diagrams.
  • Experienced CAD user.
  • Solid technical writing skills - document procedures, create and evaluate mechanical drawings and electrical schematics, scope system designs, and track debug process.
  • Experienced Linux user with knowledge of basic CLI operations, OS architecture, and network configuration.
  • Working knowledge of at least one coding language and experience with code repository practices.
  • A team player with strong communication skills, and a willingness to teach and learn from others.
  • Passionate about seeing robotics have a real-world, large-scale impact.
The pay range for this position at commencement of employment is expected to be between $92,000 and $132,250/year for California-based roles; however, base pay offered may vary depending on multiple individualized factors, including market location, job-related knowledge, skills, and experience. Note that TRI offers a generous benefits package (including 401(k) eligibility and various paid time off benefits, such as vacation, sick time, and parental leave) and an annual cash bonus structure. Details of participation in these benefit plans will be provided if an employee receives an offer of employment.
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TRI is fueled by a diverse and inclusive community of people with unique backgrounds, education and life experiences. We are dedicated to fostering an innovative and collaborative environment by living the values that are an essential part of our culture. We believe diversity makes us stronger and are proud to provide Equal Employment Opportunity for all, without regard to an applicant’s race, color, creed, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, medical condition, religion, marital status, genetic information, veteran status, or any other status protected under federal, state or local laws.